No shortage of excitement in the neighborhood this afternoon. What started out as a relaxing, quiet Sunday turned into an adrenaline-pumping exercise in Alaskan-ism.
Shortly before 4 p.m. I had returned from a long run with Jasper, at which time I took a few minutes to catch my breath in front of the house. Jasper, however, kept wanting to go towards the neighbor's house and on down the street, even though he, too, was panting and tuckered out. I soon found out why.
We had gone inside and were collapsed on the floor downstairs when I heard loud shouting from upstairs as Yukon hollered "Hey, there's a bear outside!" A bear? In the middle of the day?
A smallish black bear had gone into our next door neighbor's garage (inside all the way, mind you) and taken a zip bag of GORP from the top of a cooler, and was happily chomping away when the neighbor came out and tried to shoo him away (the Anchorage Police had called to tell him the bear was in his garage, by the way).
Clumping across our yard and on down the street, the bear was about three houses down when the APD cavalry arrived (see photos above), bearing shotguns. These brave soldiers followed the bear for a few more houses until it again went into a garage, and this time the owner had the foresight to shut the door, thus trapping it in with their garbage until, we thought, the Alaska Fish and Game would come and dart him to dreamland. Not.
My Southside neighbor wandered down the street to check the process and returned a few minutes later calling "Fish and Game isn't coming! They want the police to let him out and chase him back into the woods!" Oh.
Thinking I had never seen a bear rodeo, I stayed on my front deck with a teenager from the neighborhood who didn't dare go home, and we waited and watched while seven police cruisers came down the street to provide support to the situation. Southside neighbor stationed himself on his deck with his gun to protect us all.
Eventually the officers came marching down the street and said the bear was loose and "runnning around somewhere". Obviously the herding idea did not work out, and to the best of our knowledge, he is still running around.
Needless to say, there will be no outside playing tonight. And I thank god I didn't decide to go for a jog a few minutes later, or Jasper and I would have run smack into the little bruin.
Just another day in Alaska.